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Foreign Exchange

Icap numbers start to bear fruit

It’s a tough call – or put depending on your choice – on Icap.

The company has reported record first half revenue for 2009, which rose 6% to £809 million, but a 5% fall in profit to £166 million. Revenue from electronic broking, which includes EBS, fell 5% to £122 million, although Icap has put a good spin on the numbers: “Our electronic fixed income and FX businesses showed remarkable growth in the past two years and volumes returned to more normal levels this year. Fixed-income volume is growing again and we have also seen an improvement in electronic volumes in FX in the past two months.”

The company’s investment in post-trade and information services is starting to bear fruit. The division posted a 28% increase in operating profit to £32 million.

“We have delivered a resilient performance following the very high levels of activity we experienced during 2007 and 2008. These results demonstrate the depth and breadth of our business model. This environment has provided a significant number of opportunities to develop an even more diversified revenue base as a platform for future growth and we are continuing to invest,” says Michael Spencer, Icap’s chief executive. And when you look at other exchanges, which are mostly one-trick ponies, it is hard not to believe Spencer is right.

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